SHENZHEN, CHINA – As Apple (AAPL) posts disappointing revenue projections for the coming year, mainly due to slower sales in China, analysts at the company have been scrambling to pinpoint exact causes. Corporate strategists have recently uncovered that hundreds of thousands of Chinese workers who are not paid a living wage cannot afford the expensive iPhones that they themselves assemble.
CEO Tim Cook has turned Apple Eastward in the eight years since he took the helm of the company, hoping that emerging markets in Asia will sustain growth after Western markets become saturated. However, Mr. Cook is relying on a potential customer base comprised heavily of laborers tied into Apple’s deep supply chain, many of whom work and live in suboptimal conditions.
By setting a $400 a month salary as the benchmark for the growing labor market in China, Apple manufacturer Foxconn does not seem set on economically empowering its workers to purchase even the cheapest iPhone models. Beyond price, Apple analysts are also concerned that the “user story” of Chinese Factory workers does not achieve a product-market fit.
“Okay, so maybe Dickensian conditions that tears apart the very fabric of the human soul,” says spokesperson Dan Ziskie of the company-owned dormitories, cafeterias, and stores that dominates the few hours of workers’ lives that they aren’t on the factory floor, “don’t engender the love for our products that we’ve seen for decades in America.”
“But I think the Chinese will definitely come around once the [iPhone] X comes out in rose gold.”